Shutdown Day 12 and 13: I did not write you yesterday. Not because I have lost any affection for you, but because the “negotiations” in the House and the Senate were moving so fast that I feared that anything I wrote you would be obsolete before you had time to read it. There is still a risk of that on this gloomy and wet Sunday morning in Washington, DC.
I also wanted to put down my rhetorical sword in the hopes that real discussions to perhaps get a win-win solution here were ongoing. It seems that whenever I give this administration and their allies the benefit of the doubt, it leads to disappointment. And it did so again this weekend.
Here is where we stand as I see it. I put the word “negotiations” in quotes because it is quite clear now that the president was disingenuous in his agreement to enter negotiations. House Republicans made a good faith offer to begin resolution of this dispute. The offer was one that I and others didn’t think was very good from our perspective, but it was made. The White House took a day to pretend as though they were negotiating, because they are clearly sensitive to that criticism, and then flat rejected the offer. Now in actual negotiations you would make a counter-offer. The White House had no such counter-offer except to say that they want tax increases now in any deal. In other words, their counter-offer moved farther away from a deal, not closer to one.
In the Senate, a bipartisan group of moderate Democrats and Republicans came up with a proposal. It was summarily rejected by the president and Harry Reid yesterday afternoon again with no counter-offer. Apparently, the only talks going on right now are between Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell in the Senate. Based on the actions of the last 24 hours, I am not optimistic about these talks.
What is clearly going on is this: The President and Democrats believe they are “winning” politically because of a couple of polls that came out last week. They can’t be seen to not want to compromise, because the public doesn’t like that. So, they pretend like they are compromising without actually doing so in order to try and break us Republicans into submission to their every desire.
Their one ray of hope is that the Republican breakdown, which they are working towards, is not happening. After the flat rejection of what was universally recognized as a reasonable, bipartisan offer in the Senate yesterday, all Republican Senators, even the most moderate, unified to defeat Harry Reid’s “clean CR” on the floor of the Senate.
In spite of the complete distortions fed to you by the mainstream media, Republicans keep coming up with bipartisan solutions that are rejected by the Democrats. We have now sent to the Senate about 15 bills, all with bipartisan support. The Senate Democrats have not voted on a single one (save the military death benefits bill, which Harry Reid let pass while complaining about it). Meanwhile, Senate Democrats have only one proposal which they have not been able to pass even in their own body. The hard leftists are calling the shots for Democrats in Washington. And they don’t want a reasonable compromise. They want only a continuation of their agenda of division, weakness and socialism without abatement.
You will hear from me again when there is more news to report. Until then, drive fast and live free.